A Kriya Yoga Course Report

During a kriya yoga course held for seventy people at Bihar School of Yoga, the participants were interviewed as to their reactions, experiences and suggestions. A detailed questionnaire was filled in by ten people covering the major fields of interest.

  1. Occupation: covered all socio-economic fields from solicitor, housewife and student to waitress and unemployed.
  2. Diet: all vegetarian.
  3. Yogic preparation: the range of yogic practice was from 8 months to 4 years, with a mean of 1-5 years. All students had participated in a special 10 week preparatory kriya course in Australia.
  4. Disabilities: no mental disabilities. Physically, all were fit except for minor orthopaedic problems such as bad knees, which did not interfere with the practice.
  5. Changes experienced during kriya yoga :
    • a) Physical: most experienced cleansing in the form of diarrhoea, fever and indigestion. These were associated with mental cleansing at the subjective level-Though tension manifested on the physical level, those interviewed experienced it as being channelled out of the body, leaving the individual feeling relaxed and purified. Some reported more sensitive and subtle perception through the senses, while others felt only positive physical advantages from the practices, without experiencing any disturbing changes.
    • b) Pranic : most practitioners felt increased energy. During the practice, vibrations within the brain were noticed, accompanied by a subjective experience of peace stillness, and chakra points were felt to be stimulated. One subject experienced pain in mooladhara chakra accompanied by a release of unconscious energy in the form of intense emotions, fears and energy waves, which seemed to indicate a deep cleansing of the unconscious mind (associated with mooladhara chakra). Cleansing of the pranic body is often accompanied by insecurity, sadness, tension, guilt and other emotional experiences; some painful, some joyful. This is usually channelled through crying, diarrhoea or fever. Other subjects reported that the energy manifested smoothly,
    • c) Mental: improvement in concentration, visualisation and mental calm were reported. Many thoughts arose during the initial practices of the kriyas, leading to a thoughtless state in the later practices said to be peaceful and blissful.
  6. Sleep: changes in sleeping patterns were noticed but must, in part, have been due to acclimatisation to a foreign country.
  7. Body temperature: was felt by most to increase during the practices. One subject experienced intense heat during the night accompanied by spontaneous movements and kriyas, and a deeply spiritualized awareness.
  8. Dreams: intense dream activity was felt by most subjects indicating the release of tensions.
  9. Appetite: fluctuations with mood and physical well-being. Where tensions were being released appetite decreased, and when mood was high, appetite was good.
  10. Interrelationships: were changed for the better in the majority of cases, with increased tolerance and a sense of unity predominating. One subject reported a better understanding of situations while another felt no change in this area.
  11. Overall summation: all subjects felt their experiences with kriya yoga were satisfying. Some anxiety was felt during the course by a few people due to mental, emotional and physical purification, but in general this was relieved through satsang and with time. The majority of people felt relaxed, rejuvenated and an overall sense of well being at the end of the course.